This happens to be another game special to me. Not only was it the first game I got on 12-24-2006 with my new pink DS Lite, but it’s also the first game I completed 100%. It was a journey to completion too. It involved journeying around a vast region filled with everything from vast maze like caves, forests filled with dangers, and a volcanic area where only the strong survive. Okay, that’s all an exaggeration of those areas. It sure felt like that to me then. Solving every puzzle to capture each Pokemon. I remember the thrill when I discovered my first non-plot related legendary. I hate to admit it given my dedication to Pokemon, at this point in time I had yet to play a main series Pokemon game. This was one of the two closest games to give me a true Pokemon adventure.
The game begins with eiher Solana or Lunick as a rookie ranger. Unlike the main you don’t catch Pokemon with pokeballs. Instead you draw circles around the desired Pokemon on the touchpad. You don’t even get to keep them forever. As soon as the task is done you have to let them go, until post game that is. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Some pokemon have devastating attacks and if your tool, the styler, runs out of energy it’s game over. Fortunately depending on your character you have either a Plusle or Minun helping you.
You travel through the Fiore region, which is a series of islands, performing missions from the Ranger Union. The progression is great since being the new guy you start out with the basic missions that consists of helping the local NPC with basic tasks. It steadily turns into more harrowing missions that center around the defeat of the evil Go-Rock Squad. The sub leaders basically have a band so that’s great. It’s a typical evil Pokemon team nothing new (see image below for the gist of their scheme). It’s really a game you have to experience for the simplistic charm. It really hits similar beats to the main games. In the end you’re a hero and get to keep journeying. I recommend it to anyone, even though the next installments are considered superior. There’s just something about the original that keeps it a DS classic.